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On my way home, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Right as I get onto the highway, I realize I better stop on the side of the road and try to duct tape my broken right-side mirror. Two days ago, when I was backing into Boots' garage, I accidentally smashed my side mirror on the garage wall, while making sure not to hit Boots' car to my left.

This little hiccup beautifully shows me the results of my new approach to life. In the past, I knew I would be upset with myself for not paying closer attention to my surroundings. But here I am relaxed and excited to be where I'm at, knowing that this mirror would not fix itself if I let my negative emotions take over. It would not cost me less if I get mad at myself. Instead, I focus my energy on my visit and my love for my friends. Until I fix it, I have a small souvenir from Chicago.

Finally, I am out of the Chicago traffic. For a while, my view is of open farmlands, then my drive is lined with trees, creating a barrier. I feel like a horse with blinders, which lets me go into deep thinking...

I realize how much I learn from my negative bias. How through my life in small steps, I was somehow able to understand from my most painful events and relationships the most powerful lesson. What NOT to repeat and what NOT to pass on.

I get an 'ah-ha' moment when I suddenly recognize that this is also how I work with my clients when I assist them in finding the right color to paint their homes.

Colors are reflections of our emotions. I always take the first twenty minutes of my appointments to get to know the person across from me as much as possible. When I get to the part of opening my Fan Deck Colors, which I use to offer a few options instead of the overwhelming millions of colors, I let myself be in what I call my No-No System. I very quickly let my emotions and my intuition from understanding my client's feelings, take away what I think would not be a good match. From the few options open, I ask them to choose their favorite. Now, here is the next interesting step in my work, I ask them what they didn't like about the colors they just put aside. You see, I learned that I get much more information and understanding about how my clients see colors and how it affects them from their dislikes.

We are so afraid to visit our past as it sometimes represents many negative emotions, but we can turn it around and let it guide us towards a colorful future.

I feel a need to bounce my new 'ah-ha' moment to someone. Ramona is always a good person to share my thoughts and feelings with, and I always appreciate her wisdom. I have this journey to thank for having Ramona as part of my life.

Welcome to Indiana!

Welcome to Ohio and Eastern Standard Time!

I still have a few hours of driving before I get to my campground for tonight. The skies are gorgeous! Blue skies and happy white fluffy clouds create a moving art background. It is an excellent time to re-listen to the book "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" by Yuval Noah Harari.

Back in June, when I was visiting Ramona, our breakfast time was always a deep conversation about life. Every morning, Darlin came down to join us, and breakfast became an event I looked forward to. One morning, the subject of A.I. came up, and Darlin recommended the book "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". Since I am pretty ignorant about this subject and know my boys are excited about it, I thought it would be a good source to educate myself so I could have more in-depth conversations with Adi and Ron. Well... this book blew my mind and opened my horizon like no other book has ever done. It also emphasizes what I always know and believe: We are all connected!

As I return to listening to my music, Google Maps takes me off the highway, which confuses me. I check my directions to ensure my destination is Charles Mill Lake Park. For one reason or another, Google Maps puts me on a slower and longer route, but I am thrilled with it as I travel through Amish country. It is a peaceful drive with beautiful farm homes and barns. I enjoy seeing dairy cows and wonder with a smile if they are black cows with white spots or white cows with black spots. Of course, it doesn't matter. They bring me joy regardless of the combination.

By the time I get to my campground, I have time for a short walk before getting dinner going. It is beautiful here, and I wish I had more time to explore. Now that the sun is down, the air is chilly, and yes, I can sit outside with another layer on while I read. However, I have two nights left to be in my cocoon before I take apart my "home," so I climb in on the early side of the evening to be happy and content.

Good morning, foggy morning! Thank you for a mystic-looking lake for my morning breakfast view.

I have about four hours of driving to my next campground, which allows me to take a slight detour to stop at Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see Brandywine Falls. A short boardwalk will take you to the viewpoint. Brandywine Falls cascades on the black rock, creating a bold but soft feel. I can only imagine how powerful it is in the early spring, or how stunning it is when frozen in the winter.

Welcome to Pennsylvania!

There is a particular landscape feel to the East Coast. My landscape creates a feel of home. The hint of the foliage on the boundless trees excites me. A few times, there are openings in my view of the sea of green mountains of all the forests that cover them.

To get to Raymond B. Winter State Park, Google Maps takes me off the highway to country roads and back to Amish scenery. There is so much charm and peacefulness here. To my surprise, I lost service twenty minutes before getting to my campground. Having my last night being disconnected from the outside world is a pleasant surprise.

I set camp and sit down to enjoy the quiet. I let myself feel and check my emotions. I can sense a hidden nagging in my heart and I open myself fully to it to understand the message there. Yes, there is that slight fear of returning to "my old me", as I return home to places that will remind me of some of the sources of the pain I am no longer carrying.

I worked hard and constant this year to change the way I view and experience life. I embrace all my emotional challenges and let them guide me to live a wholehearted life. I feel I have all the tools I need to continue facing any concern and fear that will come my way. Anxiety is no longer an emotion that constantly goes through me. Today, I can recognize anxiety when it is trying to take over, and I am able to shift it to a productive place.

That's it! This is the last time I am climbing into my cozy cocoon. I turn on my heating blanket and take a deep breath of joy. I know I will miss this setup. It will always have a special place in my heart, but I need something bigger and am so excited to create a new build-up with a minivan.

Good morning, last day! Thank you for the sunshine! I have three hours to get back home. I want to catch up on my writing before I arrive home, so now I am outside of the Milton Public Library, plugged into my power station since the library is closed.

Welcome to New Jersey!

My final state. Since I continue to rent my apartment to support my travel, I am staying with my dear friends Eva Marie and Norman until I get back on the road again. Even though I am staying in New Jersey, I am only two miles from my apartment, which is in New York state.

As I get closer to my final destination, I want to honor this journey and the incredible gift I gave myself with two songs that touch my heart, open my soul, and let me embrace my feelings.

Forgiveness by Matthew West

Bliss (I Am the Light of My Soul) by Sirgun Kaur and Sat Darshan Singh

Until next time...



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